IIER logo 4
Issues in Educational Research, 2022, Vol 32(3), 1174-1195.
[ Contents Vol 32 ] [ IIER Home ]

Neoliberalism and government responses to Covid-19: Ramifications for early childhood education and care

Margaret Sims
University of New England, Australia

Pamela Calder
London South Bank University, UK

Mary Moloney
Mary Immaculate College, Ireland

Antje Rothe
Leibniz University, Germany

Marg Rogers
University of New England, Australia

Laura Doan
Thompson Rivers University, Canada

Domna Kakana and Sofia Georgiadou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

The Covid-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to examine the initial policies developed by Australian, Canadian, English, German, Greek and Irish governments to limit the spread of the virus. This has revealed governments' conceptualisation of the early childhood sector and its workforce. This paper argues that neoliberal ideology and neoliberal imaginaries have already influenced the early childhood sector globally. During the pandemic, the choices that governments made at the outset of the pandemic has allowed their priorities and underlying ideology to be more transparent. Using an ethnographic methodology, early childhood researchers from each of the six countries, examined their individual governments policy responses and the effects on the early childhood sector during its initial months (between March and June 2020). The authors consider the extent to which this may have implications for the sector in how it should continue its ongoing pursuit of professionalisation of the sector.
[ PDF full text for this article ]

Authors: Professor Margaret Sims is a Professor of Early Childhood and an Honorary Professor at Macquarie University, Australia, who has worked in the areas of family support and disabilities for many years. She researches in the areas of professionalism in early childhood and higher education, families, disabilities, social justice and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4686-4245
Email: margaret.sims@mq.edu.au

Pamela Calder BA, MSc, C. Psychol., AFBPS, FRSA is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at London South Bank University, UK, and a Chartered Psychologist. She is both a researcher and campaigner in the field of ECEC, and Honorary President of the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (http://www.ecsdn.org/).
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9703-4308
Email: p.calder@gmail.com

Dr Mary Moloney is a researcher, author and lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. She has more than twenty years' experience of working in the early childhood field both as a practitioner and an academic. She is passionate about children's early education and care, inclusion and diversity (influenced by her work with refugees in Greece), policy, governance and, the professional identity and well-being of early childhood professionals.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1395-452X
Email: mary.moloney@mic.ul.ie

Dr Antje Rothe is a lecturer in early childhood education and care at Leibniz University in Hanover, Germany.
Email: antje.rothe@ifs.uni-hannover.de

Dr Marg Rogers is a Senior Lecturer in early childhood education in the School of Education, University of New England, Australia. Her research interests are in families, military families, professionalism, creative arts education, early childhood technology, communication and language development. Marg teaches in the areas of families in early childhood, communication development and creative arts education.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8407-7256
Email: marg.rogers@une.edu.au

Associate Professor Laura Doan is a lecturer in early childhood education at Thompson Rivers University, Canada. She leads the Peer Mentoring for Early Childhood Educators in British Columbia program that aims to expand the current infrastructure of support to slow the number of ECEs who leave the field by building the capacity of ECEs, supporting their ongoing professional identity development needs, increasing their levels of teacher-efficacy, and boosting confidence in their abilities as educators.
Web: https://kamino.tru.ca/experts/home/main/bio.php?id=ldoan
Email: ldoan@tru.ca

Professor Domna Kakana is Dean, Faculty of Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and Professor in Educational Sciences at the School of Early Childhood Education. Her recent research interests focus on designing contemporary developmental environments of teaching and learning, such as collaborative or/and cooperative, improving the quality of the pedagogical environment and school space, developing curricula and new teaching approaches (such as collaborative/cooperative teaching and learning, learning and teaching through play), and on improving pre-service and in-service teacher education and professional development. She is also interested in social inequalities in education caused by financial or health crises such as Covid-19.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3646-1437
Email: dkakana@nured.auth.gr

Sofia Georgiadou is a PhD candidate in the School of the Early Childhood Education at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and a kindergarten teacher.
Email: sgeorgiado@nured.auth.gr Web: https://www.nured.auth.gr/dp7nured/?q=en

Please cite as: Sims, M., Calder, P., Moloney, M., Rothe, A., Rogers, M., Doan, L., Kakana, D. & Georgiadou, S. (2022). Neoliberalism and government responses to Covid-19: Ramifications for early childhood education and care. Issues in Educational Research, 32(3), 1174-1195. http://www.iier.org.au/iier32/sims.pdf

[ PDF full text for this article ] [ Contents Vol 32 ] [ IIER Home ]
Published under a Creative Commons licence: Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)
This URL: http://www.iier.org.au/iier32/sims-abs.html
Created 24 September 2022. Last correction: 24 September 2022. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]